Casa Pacifica provides temporary shelter for children – ages eight through 17 – removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. They receive care, assessment and treatment in four living units segregated by age and gender.
By design, the emergency shelter care program is a temporary, short-term placement for children/youth entering the child welfare system or who are in foster care but have had an unsuccessful foster home or group home placement. The focus of the program is on assessment and short-term trauma care and treatment. Children receive immediate medical attention and educational and social emotional assessments intended to assist Child Protective Services and the dependency court in making the best decisions possible as they plan for the child’s future.
Children under six years old who have been placed in emergency shelter participate in Casa Pacifica’s therapeutic preschool. A certified preschool teacher prepares the curriculum and aides assure an adult-child ratio of 1:3. Each child undergoes a comprehensive assessment that not only assists the teacher in individualizing the curriculum, but also helps in planning for school placement following discharge.
Most children/youth in the emergency shelter are able to continue their educational program in their own school. Casa Pacifica provides transportation to and from school. The average length of stay is about 50 days, though there is a wide variance. Upon leaving Casa Pacifica, about half of the children go home or to a relative’s home (typically with support services provided by the county). About a third go to foster homes and the rest require group care or residential treatment.
“High-risk” youngsters are provided a “safety watch”—one-on-one staffing (a staff member assigned to the child/youth always within arms reach)—when a child is deemed to be a danger to self or others. A safety watch can be 24/7 for as long as necessary. .
Through a special arrangement with the Ventura County Human Services Agency, the shelter care program can provide emergency shelter for children and youth referred by County Mental Health or the Probation Department. It is also used occasionally by Santa Barbara County Department of Social Services for “high risk” children/youth.
Phone the intake department at 805-366-4006 for bed availiability or to arrange a visit to a child/youth in placement.
Melissa Flavin, Program Manager
Phone: (805) 366-4101